Middle East

The death toll from landslides in Myanmar has increased to four, with dozens missing

Hapakanto, Myanmar: Taken and received from an anonymous source, this photo shows a spectator watching rescue personnel searching for a missing person after a landslide at the Jade mine in Hapakanto, Kachin State. increase. — AFP

Yangon: Landslide deaths at an illegal jade mine in northern Myanmar increased to four yesterday, rescuers said, warning that dozens of people still missing are likely dead. Scores die each year as low-wage migrant workers work in the country’s lucrative but under-regulated jade trade, scraping off highly coveted gems in neighboring China. Rescue teams yesterday pulled three bodies from a nearby lake in the town of Hapakant near the border with China and added them to those found the day before.

Authorities were initially worried that at least 70 people would be missing after a torrent of rocks and soil rushed into the lake early Wednesday, but later they were still trying to confirm the numbers. Stated. They said the two men found yesterday came from Yinmar Pin, hundreds of kilometers away in central Myanmar, and the third from Rakhine State in the southwest.

Hpakant miners come from all over Myanmar to pick up piles of waste left by industrial mining companies and scratch living things, hoping to find a mass of jade that has been overlooked. The Myanmar rescue organization, Jack Ko, said the rescue team had stopped the search on the second day because the light was fading.

He added that they will return to the lake today for the last day on the third day. After that, his team came to pick up the body only “if it appeared in the water”. Hundreds of excavators came to Hpakant during the rainy season to explore dangerous open pit mines, even though drilling was banned until March 2022, according to local activists.

Rescue teams said it would be difficult to determine how many people were working in the event of a disaster. Rescuers said the increased pressure due to the weight of the dumped soil and rocks pushed the ground downhill and into a nearby lake.

The incident is the latest tragedy that has hit a multi-billion dollar industry that is under-regulated. Jade and other abundant natural resources in northern Myanmar (wood, gold, amber, etc.) have helped fund both sides of the decades of civil war between the Kachin rebels and the army.

Citizens are often trapped in the midst of a battle to manage mines and their lucrative income, with drug and arms trade rampant and further curbing conflicts. Last year, heavy rains caused a massive landslide in Hpakant, hitting nearly 300 miners. Watchdog Global Witness estimates that the industry is worth about $ 31 billion in 2014.

However, corruption means that the state’s financial resources are rarely reached. The February military coup also effectively extinguished industry reforms initiated by the exiled civilian government, a Global Witness report said earlier this year.

The disaster on Wednesday “reminds us that living in Hapacant’s jade mine makes a profit too often,” Hannah Hindstrom, senior campaigner for Myanmar at Global Witness, told AFP. Told. “The miners are paying the final price again as the military is busy transforming this sector into the economic lifeline of its illegal regime.” According to a state-sponsored newspaper, five days on Wednesday. The Jade Emporium, run by the military government, has “successfully ended.” — AFP

https://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/myanmar-landslide-death-toll-rises-to-four-dozens-still-missing/ The death toll from landslides in Myanmar has increased to four, with dozens missing

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